Rich Ross has stepped down as chairman of Walt Disney Co.’s movie studios, EW has confirmed. Ross helmed the film studio for two years, overseeing one of Hollywood’s biggest flops, John Carter. “I have made the very difficult decision to step down as chairman of The Walt Disney Studios, effective today,” he said. Ross took the job in October 2009, after leading the Disney Channel to great success with projects like High School Musical.
Read his full statement below.
For the last 15 years I have had the opportunity to work with incredibly talented people on behalf of the world’s best-loved brand. During that time, we’ve told some amazing stories around the world, created successful TV programming, movies, and franchises that generated new opportunities for the company in the process.
I’ve always said our success was created and driven by our own people – whom I consider to be the absolute best in the business. But the best people need to be in the right jobs, in roles they are passionate about, doing work that leverages the full range of their abilities. It’s one of the leadership lessons I’ve learned during my career and it’s something I’ve been giving a great deal of thought to as I look to the challenges as opportunities ahead.
I belive in this extraordinary Walt Disney Studios team and I believe in our strong slate of films and our ability to make and market them better than anyone else. But, I no longer believe the chairman role is the right professional fit for me. For that reason, I have made the very difficult decision to step down as chairman of The Walt Disney Studios, effective today.
It has been my honor to work with such incredible teams – at Disney Channels worldwide and The Walt Disney Studios and the many other Disney businesses I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with. I know I leave the studios in good hands, and even on separate paths, I am confident we are all destined for continued success.